Thursday, October 18, 2018

Shri Kamal Krishna Banerjee's letter to Shri Naveen Patanayak,CM; Odisha.

Sri Nabin Pattanayak

Hon’ble Chief Minister




      On 15th October Raigad  police arrested leading member of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samity - Sathi  Dhadi Kadraka from Muniguda and brutally assaulted him. To lodge protest against such undemocratic and unruly act of your police,  National Vice- President of Samajwadi  Jan Parisad Satihi  Lingraj Azad has convened a peaceful demonstration on 23rdOctober at Raigard.  But Police  constantly putting pressure upon Satihi  Lingraj Azad to postpone the programme  on 23rd October. Even S.P of the  neighbouring district  Kalahandi  called Satihi  Lingraj Azad at PS and put pressure on him to  postpone 23rd October program. These kind of arm twisting act of your police administration is not only undemocratic, abuse of power but also violates the fundamental right of assembly and freedom of expression.

         You are aware that Niyamgirii Suraksha Samity  has all along  organised various kinds of movements in a peaceful democratic manner to protect interest of the Adibasi community of Nyamgiri Hills from the attempt of the  Vedanta Company  to take over Nyamgiri hills for boxite mining.   

      You may recall that by the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court  opinion of the Adibasi inhabitants was taken. At that time despite all kinds of harassment, allurement and fear let lose by the Vedanta Company with the active aid of the state and central govt. and also ignoring the call of the Maoist to boycott opinion poll not a single vote was given in favour of Vedanta Company.


        It seems that Vendata Company again appears in the scene and Orissa police is acting at the behest of the Vedanta Company to destroy the peaceful democratic struggle of the innocent Adibasi of Nyamgiri Hills to save their life, livelihood  and environment in and around the Niyamgiri Hills from the clutch of the ill famed Vedanta Company.

        We strongly condemn such illegal act of your  police appeal to you to restrain the Raygard Police from creating any obstruction for holding peaceful demonstration of Nyamgiri Surksha Samity to be held on 23rd. October.


Yours sincerely

Kamal Krishna Banerjee

National President

Samajwadi  Jan Parisad

Jalpaiguri (West Bengal)


Saturday, October 06, 2018

जरूरी डबिंग, 'ये दिल और उनकी निगाहों के साये'

जयदेव द्वारा संगीतबद्ध प्रेम परबत का यह गीत बहुत लोकप्रिय हुआ था।
इस फिल्म की सभी प्रिंट्स जल गईं।ऑडियो को दूसरे गानों पर बैठाया गया है।मधुमति में दिलीप कुमार और वैजयंतीमाला के गीत के साथ गजब बैठ गया है।

Thursday, September 20, 2018




A.G. NOORANI warns us of being “unsafe and unhistorical to cite the Gandhian precedent before independence” (“Gandhi's no to satyagraha”, August 26). Noorani has tried to establish that both Gandhiji and B.R. Ambedkar were against satyagraha in the post-Independence era. Gandhiji was perhaps more conscious of the dangers of being misunderstood and misrepresented by his readers and others. Books of his original writings carry a note “To The Reader” originally written by him in his journal ( Harijan, 29-4-1933, page 2). It says: “ I am not at all concerned with appearing to be consistent…. When anybody finds any inconsistency between any two writings of mine, if he has still faith in my sanity, he would do well to choose the later of the two on the same subject.”

To be “safe” and “historical”, I would like to start from Gandhi's martyrdom so that nothing remains later than that. Gandhi gave Pyarelalji a new draft Constitution for the Congress that he had prepared the previous day. “The struggle for the ascendancy of civil over military power is bound to take place in India's progress towards its democratic goal.” The draft contained this prediction. We can easily imagine the nature of the struggle that Gandhi had imagined. It would have been fought through peaceful and pure means. Gandhiji observed a fast (a mode of satyagraha) on Independence Day. He was asked whether he would leave politics after August 15, 1947. Gandhiji replied, “In the first instance there is no freedom approaching the Kingdom of God. We seem to be as far from it as ever. And in any case the life of the millions is my politics from which I dare not free myself without denying my life work and God. That my politics may take a different turn is quite possible. But that will be determined by circumstances ( Harijan, 17-8-1947, page 281).

His last two post-Independence fasts, in Kolkata and Delhi respectively, were in the wake of communal violence after Partition. Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel were in the saddle of power. Noorani is known for his writings on communalism and should not deny Gandhiji's contribution through these two fasts and ultimately by his utmost sacrifice. Gandhiji's speeches and writings on satyagraha have been sanctified by his righteous practice and suffering the consequences of breaking unjust laws. Moreover, they are written for all time. His incisive logic is unanswerable.

Gandhiji has made it amply clear that he believed in the supremacy of the people. In his famous booklet “Constructive Programme: Its meaning and place”, he elaborated his vision in clear terms: “The truth is that power resides in the people and it is entrusted for the time being to those whom they may choose as their representatives. Parliaments have no power or even existence independently of the people. Civil Disobedience is the storehouse of power.”

Ambedkar delineated how fundamental rights can be effective. He said: “Rights are protected not by law but by the social and moral conscience of society.” The social and moral conscience of the Indian people protected these fundamental rights when they got an opportunity to choose between democracy and dictatorship in the 1977 general elections. In spite of all the infighting in the Janata Party, its government should be remembered for the historical amendment it made to the Constitution to make “internal emergency” next to impossible.

The right to undertake civil disobedience, or satyagraha, in any parliamentary democracy by a citizen is a fundamental right. To criticise this right is to negate the basic democratic system.


Monday, October 30, 2017


(Registered under the Trade Unions Act 1926, Registration No.:3427/Delhi)
State Bank of India Officers’ Association
04th Floor, SBI Administrative Unit, No. 86, Rajaji Salai, Chennai- 600 001
Phone: 044-25227170 Tel/Fax 044 25227170
Date: 26.10.2017
In the recent times, we have seen an overdrive of threatening to freeze existing bank accounts unless the customers link to Aadhaar. They are also refusing to open new bank accounts without Aadhaar, citing GSR 538(E), the amendment to the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003)(PMLA), on June 1st 2017.
Linkage of Aadhar with the bank accounts and other financial transactions is a clear case of the violation of basic human rights of the citizens of this country. In spite of this, the Govt of India made mandatory the unique identification project (UID Project) through Rule 9 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Rules, 2017 as amended by the Prevention of Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Rules, 2017 for the purpose of opening and maintaining bank accounts and for carrying any financial transactions.
As per the amended rules, an Aadhaar Number has been made mandatory for opening of bank accounts; making any financial transactions of and above Rs. 50,000; and foreign remittance to be credited even to small accounts. Further, the existing bank account holders have been directed to furnish Aadhaar Number before December 31, 2017 and non-compliance of the same will result in the concerned bank accounts being ceased. Consequently, every citizen is being compelled to possess an Aadhaar Number for not only opening of a new bank account, but also for maintaining the existing bank accounts and making transactions through such bank accounts.
Further, it violates the right to privacy which is now recognized as an essential part of life and personal liberty. The Supreme Court of the country has also upheld the same in its landmark judgment which says that ‘Privacy’ is a fundamental right of every individual. By compelling the citizens to surrender the core biometric information, it has violated all three principal aspects of privacy viz. Privacy of Person, Privacy of information and Privacy of choice. Moreover, the said provision has been enacted without legislative competence rendering it void ab initio, being ultra vires in nature as being a subordinate legislation, it could not have changed the otherwise consensual scheme of Aadhaar Act into a mandatory scheme thereby overturning the entire legislative policy of Aadhaar. The provision has also exceeded the mandate of its parent sections under the PMLA Act by mandating ceasing of operation of non – Aadhaar holders’ bank accounts. This is not the end; the provision also violates the Article 14 of the Constitution of India as forcing every individual to surrender his core biometrics unfairly equates him to a criminal. Ceasing operations of legitimate accounts also unfairly equates legitimate funds to crime proceeds which are to be attached under the PMLA Act. To worsen the situation further, linking of Aadhaar and Bank accounts defeats the object of the PMLA Act itself as it allows real money launderers to launder crime proceeds by executing identity thefts. Such thefts are highly probable considering the nature of information and its storage.
Thus, making Aadhar compulsory is illegal and would virtually convert the citizens into "slaves" as they would be under the government's surveillance all the time; apart from violating the citizens' fundamental rights granted under the Constitution as they would be coerced to give sample of their fingerprints and iris.
The All India Bank Officers Confederation, the largest officers' organization having membership of around 325000 officers is in opposition to the move of the Govt. for making Aadhar Card mandatory to citizens rather than being voluntary. When the matter is subjudice in the  supreme court, the urgency of the Govt. in its implementation is uncalled for and against the true spirit of democracy. Taking all these factors into consideration, the undersigned along with Mr. M.G. Devasahayam, retired IAS and Mr. Samuel Rajappa, Former Resident Editor, The Statesman have filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the Union of India and Unique Identification Authority of India in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. We sincerely believe and are quite hopeful that with the good wishes of all the people, we will be successful to thwart the ill-motivated steps of the Govt. of India and the Hon’ble Supreme Court would uphold the spirit of the fundamental rights of our compatriots and we will not have to remain as the slaves to the Govt. by virtue of mandatory aadhar for all.
(D. T. Franco)
General Secretary

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hinduism / Ram Manohar Lohia

The greatest war of Indian history, the war between the 
liberal and the fanatical in Hinduism, has raged for 5000 years 
and more and its end is not yet in sight. No attempt has been 
made, as it should have been, to make of this war the loom on 
which India’s history could be woven. Even incidental mention 
of it is rare and sketchy in books of history . And yet it is the 
continuing motive of much that moves in the country. 

All religions have in the course of their career suffered 
from a conflict between the liberal and the fanatical. But with 
the exception of Hinduism, they split up and have often drawn 
blood and, after a long or short period of slaughter, succeeded 
in overcoming the conflict. With Hinduism, a perpetual see- 
saw between the liberal and fanatical goes on and, while open 
slaughter has never taken place, the conflict remains unsolved to 
this day and a haze covers up the issues involved. 

Christianity, Islam and Buddhism have all had their schisms. 
The fanatical elements that the Catholic faith had at one time- 
accumulated led to what was then the liberal challenge of  
Protestant Christianity. But every body knows the Reformation led 
to the Counter-reformation. Catholicism and Protestantism still 
differ in many of their doctrines but it would be hard to call one 
liberal and the other fanatical. If Christianity stays split on 
doctrinal and organisational issues, the Shia-Sunni schism in Islam 
relates to a detail of chronology. Buddhism likewise split into 
the two sects of Heenayana and Mahayana and, although they 
never drew blood from each other, their differences relate to 
doctrine and have nothing to do with the ordering of society. 

Hinduism has known no such split. It has indeed conti- 
nually disintegrated into sects. The innovating sect has as often 
come back to it as an additional unit. Doctrinal issues have 
therefore never been sharply defined and social conflicts have 
stayed unresolved. While Hinduism is as prolific as Protestantism 
in giving birth to sects, it casts over tliem all and undefinable 
mantle of unity such as is secured by the Catholic organisation 
through the prohibition of sects. Hinduism has thus become a 
system of expanding exploration as much as it is the hunting 
ground of the irrational and the fanatical. 

Before an attempt could be made to discover why Hinduism 
has so far been unable to work this conflict between the fanatical 
and the liberal out of its system, it is necessary to recall the broad 
differences of view that have always prevailed. On four major 
and concrete issues, those of caste, woman, property and tolerance, 
Hinduism has suffered from a perpetual swing between the liberal 
and fanatical attitudes. 

Over four thousand years ago and more, molten lead was 
poured into the ears of some Hindus and their tongues pulled 
out by other Hindus, for the caste system ordained that no 
untouchable shall hear or read the Vedas. Over three hundred years 
ago Shivaji had to agree that his dynasty shall ever choose its 
ministers from among the Brahmins in order to be crowned king 
according to the Hindu custom. Around two hundred years ago 
when the last battle of Panipat was fought, and the crown of India 
passed into British hands as a consequence, one Hindu general 
quarreled with another for he wanted to pitch his tent on higher 
land corresponding to his caste. Nearly fifteen years ago a 
zealous Hindu wished to save Hinduism by throwing a bomb at 
Mahatma Gandhi, for he had then set out to destroy untouch- 
ability. Until recently, and in certain areas to this day, the 
Hindu barber would not shave untouchable Hindus, while he 
would be only too willing to serve the non-Hindu. 

At the same time two formidable revolts seem to have taken 
place against the caste system in ancient times. A whole Upanishad 
is devoted to the complete and entire demolition of the caste 
system'. From the nature, tone and compass of attacks made on 
the caste system in ancient Indian literature, these appear to 
belong to two different periods — a period of criticism and another 
of condemnation. While this question may be left to future 
investigations, it is obvious that the two bright periods of the 
Mauryas and the Guptas follow a comprehensive attack on the 
caste system. But caste never quite dies out. It is at times 
severely rigid while it loosens during other periods. The fana- 
tical and the liberal continue intertwined in respect of the caste 
system and the difference between any two periods of Hindu 
history consists in the dominance of one or the other strand. At 
the moment, the liberal is dominant and the fanatical dare not 
become vocal. But the fanatical is seeking to preserve itself .by 
entering into liberal thought. If it is too late in the day to talk 
of caste by birth, people are talking of caste by vocation. ' Even 
if men will not argue for the caste system they rarely act against 
it, and a climate grows in which the reasoning mind and the 
habitual mind of the Hindu are in conflict. Caste may slacken 
as an institution in some of its forms, but as a habit of mind it 
has not yet been dislodged. The conflict between the liberal and 
fanatical in Hinduism in respect of the caste system threatens to 
continue unresolved. 

While modern fiction has made us aware of the woman alone 
knowing who the father of the child is, Jabala, 3,000 years ago 
or more, was not herself sure who the father of her child was 
and her name is remembered with pride as a truthful woman in 
ancient literature. In parenthesis it may be remarked that the 
caste system swallowed her up by turning her son into a Brahmin. 
Literature of the liberal period has warned us against too close 
an enquiry into geneologies of families, for like the sources of 
rivers they too are muddy. Rape under coercion which could 
not be fought successfully brings the woman no harm nor dirt, 
for, as this literature says, she renews herself every month. The 
woman has also the right to divorce and property. While this 
liberal attitude towards woman prevails in the luminous periods 
of Hinduism, fanatical periods reduce her to a bit of property to 
be taken care of by the father, the husband or the son. 

At the moment the Hindu woman finds herself in a strange 
situation, both liberal and fanatical. She finds it easier than any- 
where else in the world to rise to positions of eminence. But 
her claim to a single standard with men in respect of marriage 
and property continues to be assailed. I have read fanciful leaf- 
lets denying the claim of Hindu woman to property on the plea 
that she might fall in love with a man of another faith and so 
change her own, as if this could not happen perhaps even -more 
frequently to a Hindu man. That land should not be further frag- 
mented is quite another question and applies both to male and 
female inheritors, and some way should be found to keep a 
holding, under the permissible maximum, intact. As long as law 
or custom and habits of thinking discriminate between man and 
woman with respect to property and marriage, the fanatical in 
Hinduism will not quite die out. The hankering of the Hindu 
to see in his woman a goddess who never descends from her 
pedestal opens the most liberal among them to dull and dubious 
wishes. The fanatical and the liberal shall remain intertwined 
as long as the Hindu refuses to accept his woman as a human 
being same as he. 

The sense of property in Hinduism is liberalised by its faith 
in non-accumulation and non-attachment. Fanatical Hinduism, 
however, so interprets the theory of Karma as to give the men of 
wealth and birth or power a superior status and to sanction as 
right whatever exists. The question of property in its present 
form of private versus social ownership is a recent one. But in 
its old form of non-attachment versus sanctioned order, it has 
continually been present in the Hindu mind. As with the other 
issues, the Hindu has never been able to carry his thinking on 
the question of property and power to its logical conclusion. 
Hinduism has varied both in time and with the individual only 
in so far as the one or the other concept of property holds primacy. 

Tolerance is commonly reputed to be an unfailing feature of 
Hinduism. That is not so except in the sense that open slaughter 
has hitherto been abhorrent to it. The fanatical in Hinduism 
has always tried to establish unity through uniformity, through the 
suppression of- sects and faiths other than the one that was seeking 
to dominate, but such attempts have never achieved success. These 
have in the past been treated more or less like the antics of little 
children, for Hinduism until recently was called upon to apply 
the principle of unity in diversity only to its own sects. The 
element of tolerance in Hinduism has therefore been almost always 
stronger than the element of coercion. But this tolerance must 
be distinguished from a similar attitude of mind which European 
rationalism has brought into the world. Voltaire knew his oppo- 
nent to be wrong and yet he was willing to fight the battle for 
tolerance, for his opponent’s right to say w-hat he wanted. 
Hinduism on the other hand bases its case for tolerance .on 
various possibilities of what is right. It concedes that doctrines 
and usages may varj' with climes and classes and is not prepared 
to aribitrate among them. It wishes for no uniform pattern in 
the conduct of men’s lives, not even a voluntarj'- uniformity and 
what it wishes for is that undefinable unity in diversity- which it 
has in the past so successfully threaded through all its sects. Its 
quality of tolerance, therefore, rises out of the creed of non-inter- 
ference, out of the belief that variations need not necessarily be 
wrong, but are perhaps different expressions of what is right. . 

Fanaticism has often tried to impose the unity of uniformity 
on Hinduism. Its motives have not always been suspect. Its 
driving power may well at times have been the desire for stability 
and strength, but the consequences of its acts have always been 
disastrous. I do not know of a single period of Indian history 
when fanatical Hinduism was able to give India unity or well-being. 
Whenever India has been united and prosperous, the liberal in 
Hinduism in respect of caste, woman, property and tolerance has 
always predominated. The upswing of fanatical fervour in 
Hinduism has always led to the social and political break up of 
the country, to the disintegration of the Indian people as a State 
and as a community. I do not know if all. those periods when 
India got broken up into numerous states and kingdoms were 
characterised by fanatical zeal, but it is indisputable that the unity 
of the country took place only when liberal Hinduism held sway 
over the Hindu mind. 

Some great failures of modern history' to integrate the country 
stand out. What started as the liberal faith of Gyaneshwar 
reached its climax in .Sivaji and Bajirao but fell just a little short 
of ultimate success by degenerating into the Peshwa fanaticism.   

Again, what started as the liberal faith of Guru Nanak reached 
its climax in Ranjit Singh but degenerated early into the fana- 
tical squabbles of the Sikh confederacy. These efforts that once 
failed have also sought bitterly to repeat themselves in contem- 
porary times, for some deep and dark stirrings of the soul connect 
them with the fanatical streams now flowing out from sources in 
Maharashtra and Punjab. To a student of Indian history, all 
this is rich material for study from various angles such as the 
close connexion between the teacher of the religious word and the 
political effort to build an Indian union or the problems of where 
the seeds of degeneracy lie, whether right at the beginning or as 
the result of a later mix-up and of the drive that impels groups 
to repeat their fanatical failures. A similar study of the 
Vizianagram effort and whether it had its roots in Shankar or 
Nimbarak and what rotten seed lay beneath the glory that Humpi 
once attained would be of great interest and benefit. Again, what 
lay at the source of the liberal efforts of Shershah and Akbar and 
why did they lose to the fanaticism of an Aurangzeb? 

The recentmost effort of the Indian people and Mahatma 
Gandhi to integrate the country has succeeded, but only partially. 
Undoubtedly, all the liberal streams of five thousand years and 
more have pushed forward this effort, but what lies at its imme- 
diate source, whether Tulsi or Kabir and Chaitanya and the great 
line of the Sants or the more modern religious politicians like 
Rammohan Roy and the rebel Maulvi of Faizabad, apart, of 
course, from the liberalising influences of Europe. Again, all the 
fanatical streams of the past five thousand years seem to be com- 
bining to deluge this effort and, should fanaticism meet its 
defeat, it will not rise again. 

The liberal alone can unite the country. India is too ancient 
and vast a countrj'. No force can unite it except the voluntary 
human will. Fanatical Hinduism cannot by its nature mould such 
a will, while liberal Hinduism can, as it has often done in the past. 
Hinduism of course is not a political religion, in the narrow 
sense, a religion of doctrines or organisation. But it has been 
the eminent medium and inspiration for the great impulsion of 
the Indian political history- towards the unity of the country. The 
great war between liberal and fanatical Hinduism may well be 
called a conflict between the two processes of unification and 
disintegration of the country. 

Liberal Hinduism has, however, been unable to solve the 
problem completely. Within the principle of unify in diversify 
lies concealed the seed of decay and disintegration. Not to talk 
of the fanatical elements which always sneak into the most liberal 
of Hindu concepts and which always hinder the achievement of 
intellectual clarity, the principle of unify in diversify gives rise 
to a mind which is both rich and lethargic. It is tiresome to 
watch Hinduism continually splitting into sects, each with its own 
jarring noises, and, however much liberal Hinduism may seek to 
cover them with the mantle of unify, they inevitably produce a 
weakness in corporate living of the state. An amazing non- 
chalance comes to prevail. No one worries about the continual 
splitting, as if every one is sure that the)’’ are parts of one another. 
This is what gives fanatical Hinduism its chance and driving 
power, the desire for strength, although the result of its endeavour 
produces further weakening. 

The great war between liberal and fanatical Hinduism has 
at present taken the outward form' of their differing attitudes to 
Muslims. Nevertheless let it not be forgotten even for a moment 
that this is only an outward form and all the old unresolved con- 
flicts continue and are potentially more deciding. The assassina- 
tion of Mahatma Gandhi was not so much an episode of the 
Hindu-Muslim fight as of the war between the liberal and the 
fanatical in Hinduism. Never had a Hindu delivered greater 
blows on fanaticism in respect of caste, woman, propeify' or 
tolerance. All the bitterness was accumulating. Once before an 
attempt had been made on Gandhi ji’s life. It was then obviously 
and openly for the purpose of saving Hinduism in the sense of 
saving caste. The last and successful attempt was outwardly 
made for the purpose of saving Hinduism in the sense of protecting 
it from Muslim engulfment, but no student of Hindu history 
can be in doubt that it was the greatest and the most heinous 
gamble that retreating fanaticism risked in its war on liberal 
Hinduism. Gandhiji’s murderer was the fanatical element that 
always lies embedded in the Hindu mind, sometimes quiescent and 
sometimes pronounced, in some Hindus dominant and in others 
passive. When pages of history shall try the murder of Mahatma 
Gandhi as an episode in the war between the fanatical and the 
liberal in Hinduism and arraign all those whom Gandhiji’s acts 
against caste and for woman, against property and for tolerance 
had enraged, the composure and non-chalance of Hinduism may 
well be shattered. 

Why the liberal and fanatical have continued intertwined in 
the Hindu faith and have never hitherto challenged each other 
to a clean and decisive battle is a subject rich in exploration to 
students of Indian history. That the complete cleansing of the 
Hindu mind in respect of the fanatical never took place is beyond 
doubt. The disastrous consequences of this unresolved conflict 
are also beyond doubt. As long as caste is not completely erased 
from the Hindu mind or woman treated as an equal being with 
man, or property dissociated from the concept of order, the 
fanatical will from time to time play havoc with Indian history 
and also impart to it a continuing lethargy. Unlike other religions, 
Hinduism is not a faith of doctrines and the church bat a way of 
social organisation, and that is why the war between liberalism 
and fanaticism has never been fought out to its end and the 
Brahmin-Bania combination has ruled India for good or evil 
through centuries, a rule alternating between the liberal and the 

Mere liberalisation of the four issues will not do; they have 
to be once for all resolved of the conflict and eliminated completely 
from the Hindu mind. 

Back of all these unresolved conflicts is the metaphysical 
problem of the relationship between appearance and reality. There 
is indeed little difference in the attitudes of liberal and fanatical 
Hinduism with regard to this problem. Hinduism by and large 
seeks to go beyond appearance in search of the reality, does not 
indeed decry phenomenon as false, but only of a lower, order to 
be submerged in the mind’s ascent to the higher reality. All philo- 
sophy in all lands has indeed concerned itself with this problem. 
What distinguishes Hinduism from other faiths and theologies 
is that, while this problem has been largely confined to philosophy 
in other lands, it has in India seeped into the faith of the mass 
of the people. Philosophy has been set to tunes of music and 
turned into faith. But in other lands, the philosopher has gene- 
rally denied appearance in search of reality. His effect on the 
modem world has therefore been very limited. The scientific 
and secular spirit has hungrily collected all data of appearance, 
sifted them, tabulated them and discovered laws that hold them 
together. This has given the modern man, his type being pre- 
eminently the European, a habit of life and thinking. He accepts 
ardently facts as they appear. The ethical content of Christianity 
has furthermore lent to the good acts of man the status of the 
works of God. All this works towards a scientific and ethical 
exploitation of the facts of life. Hinduism, however, has never 
been able to get rid of its metaphysical basis. Even the common 
faith of the people goes beyond the visible and sensible for a 
glimpse of that reality which appears not. The middle ages in 
Europe had also shared such a perspective, but, let me repeat this 
was confined to the philosopher and denied appearance altogether 
or took it as a reduction of truth, while the mass of the people 
accepted Christianity as an ethical faith and to that extent accepted 
appearance. Hinduism has never denied facts of life altogether, 
but only concedes them the status of events of a lower order and 
has always, so to this day, tried to go in search of reality of the 
higher order. This is the common faith of the people. 

A vivid illustration comes to my mind. On the great but 
half destroyed temple of Konarak, one can see thousands upon 
thousands of sculptured images carved on the stones of the 
building. There is no miserliness nor coyness in the artist’s 
acceptance of appearance; he has indeed accepted them in all 
their rich variety. Even here there seems to be a certain order 
of arrangement. From the lowest to the highest block, the 
sculptured images run in the series of unsorted variety to that 
of the hunt, to the love play, to music, then to power. Everything 
is rich movement and activity. But, inside the temple is almost 
bare and such images as there are speak of stillness and peace. 
From a moving and active exterior to a still and static interior 
seems to have been the basic design of this temple. The search 
for the ultimate reality was never abandoned. 

The comparative development of architecture and sculpture 
as compared to painting might well have its own story to tell. In 
fact, such paintings as are still available to us from ancient times 
are more architectural than otherwise. Man has probably greater 
scope to project his notions of ultimate reality into architecture 
and sculpture than painting. 

The Hindu has therefore acquired a split personality. At 
his best, a Hindu accepts appearance without losing insight into 
the ultimate and is ever striving to enrich his insight, at his worst, 
his hyprocrisy is matchless. The Hindu is probably the world’s 
greatest hypocrite, for he not only deceives others as hypocrites 
all the world over do, but he also deceives himself to his own 
disadvantage. His split mind between appearance and reality 
often encourages him to do so. What an amazing spectacle has 
Hinduism presented in the past and does so today. Hinduism has 
given its votaries, the commonest among them, the faith of meta- 
physical equality or oneness between man and man and things, 
such as has never fallen to the lot of man elsewhere. Alongside 
of this faith in metaphysical equality goes the most heinous 
conduct of social inequality. I have often wondered if this meta- 
physical Hindu when he is well placed, does not treat the poor 
and low caste as animals and animals as stones and everyone as 
everything else. Vegetarianism and non-violence obviously 
degenerate into concealed cruelty. While it can be said of all 
human endeavour hitherto that truth at some stage turns into 
cruelty and beauty into profligacy, this is perhaps more so true of 
Hinduism which has attained scales of truth and beauty unsur- 
passed in their lands, but which has also descended into pits of 
darkness unplumbed by man elsewhere. Not until the Hindu 
learns to accept the facts of life in the scientific and secular spirit, 
facts relating to work and machine and output and family and 
growth of population and hunger and tyranny and the like, is 
there any hope for him to overcome his split personality or to 
deal a death-blow to fanaticism which has so often been his 
undoing in the past. 

This is not to say that Hinduism must give up its emotive 
basis and the search for oneness of all life and things. That is 
perhaps its greatest quality. The awareness and universalising 
of that sudden onrush of feeling, which makes a village boy pick 
up the kid of the goat and clasp it as if it were his life, when 
the automobile speeds along or which sees the tree with its 
gnarled roots and green branches as part of oneself, is perhaps 
a quality common to all faiths, but no where has it acquired a 
deep and abiding emotion as in Hinduism. The God of Reason 
is completely without the God of Mercy. I do not know whether 
God exists or does not, but this I know that the feeling that makes 
one kin of all life and things exists although as a rare emotion 
yet. To make of this feeling a background for all activity even 
of strife is perhaps an unrealisable adventure. But Europe is dying 
of strife born out of a too one-sided acceptance of appearance 
and India is dying of stagnation resulting from an equally 
one-sided acceptance of the reality behind things. I have no doubt 
that I would prefer to die of strife than of stagnation. But are 
these the only two courses of thinking and conduct open to man? 
Is it not possible to adjust the scientific spirit of enquiry with 
the emotive spirit of oneness without subordinating the one to the 
other and in full equality as two processes of like merit. The 
scientific spirit will work against caste and for woman, against 
property and for tolerance and of course yield the processes of 
producing wealth such as will dispel hunger and want. The 
creative spirit of oneness may secure that ballast without which 
men’s highest endeavour turns into greed and envy and hatred. 

It is difficult to say whether Hinduism' is capable of acquiring 
this new mind and to achieving adjustment of the scientific and 
the emotive spirit. But then what exactly is Hinduism? To this 
there is no one answer, but -a series of answers. This much is 
certain that Hinduism is no precise doctrine nor organiza- 
tion, nor can any one article of faith or conduct be consi- 
dered indispensable for Hinduism. There is a whole world 
of memories and mythology, of philosophy and customs and 
practices, part of which grossly evil and another which can be of 
service to man. The whole of it makes the Hindu mind, an 
essential quality of which some scholars have seen in the principle 
of tolerance or of unit)’' in diversity. We have seen the limita- 
tions of this principle and where it needs to be revised so as to 
dispel mental inertia. A common error however in the under- 
standing of this principle consists in the belief that liberal 
Hinduism has always been open to good ideas and influences no 
matter where they came from, while fanatical Hinduism is not. 
This is to my mind an illiterate belief. I have not come across 
in pages of Indian history any period when the free Hindu searched 
for ideas and objects in foreign lands or was willing to accept 
them. In all the long connection between India and China, I have 
only been able to list five fancy articles, including vermilion, 
imported into India, and of imports of ideas there is nothing 
at all. 

Free India had essentially a oneway traffic with the outside 
world, no import of ideas and very little of objects, except silver 
and the like, unless when communities of foreigners settled in 
India and tried to become a Hindu sect or caste with the passage 
of time. On the other hand enslaved India and with it Hinduism 
have shown a remarkable alacrity to ape the conqueror, his 
language, his habits and ways of living. Self-sufficiency of mind 
in freedom is matched with its total supineness under slavery. 
This weakness of Hinduism has never been recognised and it is 
unfortunate that liberal Hindus in their illiteracy are spreading 
contrary ideas for propagandist purposes. In the state of freedom, 
the Hindu mind is indeed open, but only to events taking place 
within India’s frontiers, but remains closed to ideas and 
influences from outside. This is one of its major weaknesses and 
a reason for India to fall a prey to foreign rule. The Hindu mind 
must now become open not only to what happens in India, but 
also to the outside world and it must apply its principle of unity 
in diversity to all the achievements of human thinking and practice. 
Strenuous effort must be made to rid it of'its habit to alternate 
between outright indifference to and uncoordinated acceptance 
of foreign thought. 

The war between the liberal and the fanatical in Hinduism has 
today taken the surface expression of the Hindu-Muslim conflict, 
but no Hindu who is aware of the history- of his faith and country 
will fail to take equal notice of the other unresolved conflicts raging 
for 5000 years and more. No Hindu can be genuinely- tolerant to 
[Muslims unless he acts at the same time actively against caste 
and property and for woman. Likewise, a Hindu who is genuinely 
against caste and property and for woman will inevitably be 
tolerant to Muslims. The war between liberal and fanatical 
Hinduism has reached its most complex stage and it may well 
be that its end is in sight. Fanatical Hindus, no matter what 
their motives are, must break up the Indian State, should they ever 
succeed, not only from the Hindu-Muslim point of view, but also 
from that of caste and' provinces. Liberal Hindus alone can 
sustain this state. This war of five thousand years or more has 
therefore entered a stage in which the very existence of the 
Indian people as a political community and a State depends upon 
the History of the liberal over the fanatical in Hinduism. 

The religious and the human problem is today eminently 
a poh’tical problem. The Hindu is faced with the serious choice 
of accomplishing a complete mental revolution or else of going 
under. He must be a [Muslim and a Christian and feel like one. 
I am not talking of Hindu-Muslim unity, for that is a political, 
institutional or at best a cultural problem. I am talking of the 
emotional identification of the Hindu with the Muslim or the 
Christian, not in religious faith and practices, but in the feeling 
that I am he. Such an emotional identification may appear difficult 
to achieve, for, often it may have to be one-sided and bear the pain 
of murder and slaughter. I may here recall the American Civil
War in which brother killed brother for four years and six hundred 
thousand died, but Abraham Lincoln and the American people 
crowned their hour of victory with precisely such an emotion 
between the Northern and Southern brother. No matter v-hat 

the future has in store for India, the Hindu must turn himself 
inside out to achieve this emotional oneness with the Muslim. 
The Hindu faith of emotive oneness of all -life and things is also 
the political necessity of the Indian States that the Hindu shall feel 
one with the Muslim. On the path may yet lie setbacks and defeats, 
but the direction that the Hindu mind should take is clear. 

It may be suggested that the best way to put an end to this 
war between liberal and fanatical Hinduism is to combat religion. 
That may indeed be so, but the process is tardy and where is the 
guarantee that the clever old rogue might not swallow up the 
anti-religious as one of its numerous sects? Furthermore the 
fanatical elements in Hinduism obtain their systematic supporters, 
when they do, from the semi-educated and from the townsmen, 
while the illiterate village-folk, however much they might get 
excited for the moment, cannot be their steady base. The long 
wisdom of centuries makes the village-folk as much as the 
educated, tolerant. In their search for sustenance from anti- 
democratic doctrines like communism and fascism that base them- 
selves on somewhat similar concepts of caste and leadership, 
fanatical elements in Hinduism may as well assume the anti-religious garb. The time has come when the Hindu must bathe his 
mind and cleanse it of the dirt that centuries have accumulated. 
He must indeed establish an honest and fruitful relationship 
between the facts of life and his awareness of ultimate reality. 
Only on this base will he be able to crush for ever the fanatical 
elements in Hinduism in respect of caste, woman, property and 
tolerance, which have so long vitiated his faith and disintegrated 
his country’s history. In the days of retreat the fanatical has 
often sneaked into the liberal in Hinduism. Let that not happen 
again. The issues are clear and sharply defined. Compromise 
will once again repeat the errors of the past. This hideous war 
must now be brought to a close. A new endeavour of the Indian 
mind will then start which shall combine the rational with the 
emotive, which shall make of unity in diversity not an inert but 
a vital doctrine which shall accept the clean joy of the sensible 
world without losing insight into the oneness of all life and things. 

July, 1950. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Political Resolution , 11th Biennial Samajwadi Jan Parishad National Conference held at Jateswar,Distt Alipurduar,Pashchim Banga

The Bhartiya Janta Party has recently won a huge electoral victory in Uttar Pradesh, a big state, after single handedly forming the Central Government in 2014; on the other hand the leaders of this party in power have played a huge role in handing over the country’s politics to the capitalists. The irony is that despite changing and forming policies in the interests of the exploitative class, this party in power still claims to be nationalist. For Samajwadi Jan Parishad two interests are primary, the interests of the oppressed section and the interests of the country. Our party clearly believes that it is harmful in the interest of the nation to put the interests of the capitalists above all.
Crony Capitalism and Agriculture
Even the foreign policy of the Central Government is in favor of the capitalists connected to the ruling class. The Prime Minister visits countries which are economically weaker than us and announces loans worth crores of dollars to them. These loans are given only to countries where the capitalists close to the PM are signing agreements to make huge projects.
The big capitalists in the country owe 11 lakh crore rupees to public sector banks. The government is not taking any steps to recover this debt. When the last governor of the Reserve Bank of India demanded strong measures in this regard, his tenure in office was not extended.
Self sufficiency in production of food grains and edible oils has been one of the biggest achievements of our country which is due to the farmers.  But the capitalists are also behind attempts to end this self sufficiency. India has become the biggest importer of palm oil in the world. The ‘fortune’ brand company of oil run by Gautam Adani has been selling edible oil mixed with palm oil and also given the formula to other companies, which is the reason that the palm oil import is multiplying.  The companies of all major capitalists in the country have started agriculture in mega farms of thousands of acres of land  in African countries and govt. of India is signing agreements with these countries to import their products. When the prices of Arhar/toor Dal (pigeon pea pulse) were sky rocketing , Gautam Adani had  hoarded  cheap African  imported Toor Dal (bought for Rs 40/50 per kilo) in his private port in Gujarat and took it out when the prices rose to 100 Rs per Kilo. The import duty on wheat import from abroad was first reduced to 10% from 25% and then abolished altogether. The finance minister has announced that private companies will be allowed to do contract farming if they want.
The rising costs in agriculture have led to an increase of 26% in number of farmers committing suicide. The newly elected government has waived loans of small and marginal farmers which brings some relief. But at the same time, the top officers of Reserve Bank of India and State Bank of India have started giving statements against loan waivers. It makes it clear that the government doesn’t want to consider positively the demand to waive loans of all famers in the country.
The Government has turned a blind eye towards implementing the Swaminathan Committee Recommendations on support prices for agricultural produce. The committee had  recommended that the support price should be fixed at 50% profit on the cost of production. We should not forget that Narendra Modi had also promised to implement these recommendations in the campaign for the 2014 general elections. The SJP along with all the peasant movements in the country demands that these recommendations are not adequate and a parity should be made with prices and minimum wages in the Public Sector in deciding the price for agricultural produce.
SJP leader and economist comrade Sunil had said about rural employment that ‘Today India’s villages have become de-industrialized and there is no occupation except agriculture and livestock farming. Villages and agriculture have become synonyms. On the other hand villages and industry have become opposites. Where there are villages there are no industries and where there are industries there are no villages. This condition is bad and is a legacy of colonial times.’ An open conspiracy has begun to finish the sectors providing the most number of employment after agriculture- handloom industry, cottage industries, small scale industries and forest dependent means of employment. The law which actually implemented the theory that decentralization gives employment to more people with less capital was made completely toothless in April 2015. When actually only 20 products had remained reserved for production solely by small scale industries under the manufacturing policy. In 1977 the Janta Party Government had reserved 807 products for production solely by small scale industries under the clear policy of not letting big industries produce products which could be produced at a small scale. This policy was against the conditions imposed by the World Bank and therefore the list was repeatedly shrunk after 1991. With the inflating balloon of foreign currency and the ‘reform’ of balance of payment came with the condition that quantitative restrictions cannot be placed on production. Due to this condition of the World Trade Organization, on 1st April 2000, 643 products were removed from the protected list.
It is interesting to look at the list of the remaining 20 products which was completely cancelled to end protection of Small Scale Industries- Pickle, Bread, Mustard Oil, Wooden furniture, note-book and register, candle, incense sticks, fireworks, stainless still utensils, kitchen utensils of aluminum, glass bangles, iron furniture of all kind, rolling shutters, locks, washing soap and matchsticks. Big capital, aggressive marketing and technique which prefers machine over human labor will soon devour these small industries which provide more employment.
The policy of Central and State level government purchase organizations to buy products from small and cottage industries only assures demand for them, now there are also  initiatives to make this policy ineffective. Let’s take a look on the other side. There has been a history of changing legislation and rules to promote big capital. One of the prime examples of government changing rules and policies to favor its’ favorite industrial conglomerate is the then Congress Government’s decision to allow only the Ambanis to import raw material to make synthetic thread and disregarding the reserved list of fabric to be produced only by  handloom s. It is notable that these policy decisions of the textile and industries ministry made Ambanis the biggest industrial group in the country, and before them cotton cloth used to be cheaper than cloth made of synthetic yarn. The permission to produce synthetic cloth produced on power looms has made lakhs of handloom weavers unemployed. Earlier it was only permitted to make ‘plain clothes’ on powerlooms and handlooms produced different colors and patterns. This law was made in 1985. Then twenty two types of cloth were reserved for handlooms under this law. The powerloom lobby kept the law stuck in courts till 1993 and when it was implemented in 1993 the number of protected fabrics was reduced to 11. According to a reliable study today 70% of the cloth which is sold claiming to be made on handlooms is actually powerloom  or mill- produced. 
In India 30 lakh people have got employment in information technology sector while 2 crore people are connected to the handloom sector. 18th century French traveler Francois Pirad di Lavalle describes that people from as far as the southern end of Africa to China used to wear clothes woven on Indian looms. According to him just one port in Eastern India used to export more than 50 lakh yards of cloth annually.
Along with implementing a policy to finish all employments related to traditional skills, art and handicraft the government is trying to fool the public by claiming to run schemes to promote skills through training.
The government has answered in written in the parliament about Government jobs. Central Personnel Minister Jitendra Singh has stated in writing in the house that compared to 2013, in 2015 the number of direct recruitment in central government posts has reduced by 80%. The recruitment of SC, ST and OBC has reduced by 90%. In 2013, there were 1, 54,841 recruitments for the central government, which were reduced to 1,26,261. But in 2015 the number of recruitments is cut drastically from 1.25 lakhs to around 16 thousand. The number cannot be reduced so drastically without a policy change. In 2015, only 15,877 people were recruited for the Central Government. 74 ministries and departments have told the government that among ST, SC and OBCs  92,928 people were recruited in 2013; which goes down to 72,077 in 2014 and remains only 8,436 in 2015. Thus the overall decrease is 90%.
Employment in railways will not increase between 2015-18. The manpower of railways will remain at 13, 31,433. The number was around 15 lakhs on 1st January 2014. Around 3 lakh  jobs have been cut. Between 2006 and 2014 there were 90,649 recruitments. In the USA the number of central government employees is 668. In India this number is 138 per lakh and reducing further.
The recent report of All India Council for Technical Education states that 60% of our engineers are ‘unemployable’.  Every year 60 lakh engineers are prepared in India. Their educational fee has not reduced at all. If they are unemployable then it is the fault of engineering colleges. How have they prepared so bad engineers even after taking lakhs of rupees as fees. There is no comment on that. Now when there are no jobs in the market, they can start calling engineers ineligible so that the market cannot be blamed. If 60% of our engineers are useless, the institutions where they are produced should be shut down.
Black money and corruption
What is more laughable than the claim of the government to finish black money while it benefits illegally the big capitalists. The truth is that a long time has passed since the news came of many Indians having secret accounts in the Geneva, Switzerland branch of HSBC bank. The names of many arms smugglers, drug dealers, and corrupt politicians from around the world were revealed. In this list there were names of many big industrialists and cinema stars of India. The government of India should have taken strict legal action against these account holders after the list was made public, but because these account holders were close to the government it announced an option for them to declare the amount publicly.
Another list has also been made public of corrupt politicians and illegal traders, smugglers from around the world who have accounts in the country of Panama. After this news leaked, there were huge outcries in countries like Russia and Pakistan. In India despite names of the biggest industrialist and cinema stars etc the government has not taken any strict action against them.
The government took the huge step of ‘demonetization’ with the claim of ending black money. The value of the notes which were put out of circulation was 86% of the total currency. This step led to an economic emergency in the country. More than 200 people died while standing in queues to get their notes changes. Despite this the people who had undeclared money in these notes were able to change or spend them successfully. The owners of these undeclared assets paid their employees and workers months’ worth of advance salary and bonuses, changed it to gold and dollars and through petrol pumps, and did not suffer any loss. The opposition parties did not enter the policy aspects and depth of the issue and evaded effective action against the issue. As a result, the government was successful in spreading the misconception among the common poor people that this step will not harm the general public much and will harm the rich. The truth I that the government has not declared an exact number of the notes returned. SJP demands that the government make public all the related facts and should make small currency notes available.
When the Congress government was in power, the BJP benefitted from the movement to create a Lokpal. Despite this no effective legislation has been made for Lokpal.  A big part of corruption is the undeclared contribution to political parties by capitalists without revealing the source of the money. In this year’s finance bill, it has been made legal to not announce the source of this money and for it to be unlimited in amount. It is noteworthy that currently there is a cap on the amount candidates can spend in elections but no limit to the expenditure of parties and therefore the details of expenditure are not provided seriously. During elections the ruling party spends crores of rupees to buy each leader of the opposition party, therefore it has no interest in hampering the sources of illegal undeclared income, but is actually making laws to make it easier to furnish such funds.
Electoral Reforms
In the above paragraph  the contexts of acquiring undeclared funds for contesting elections and their uses have been mentioned. Samajwadi Jan Parishad is in favor of adoption proportional representation in the electoral process.
In India in each level of state/governance(like Centre, State, District Council, Block Council and Panchayat)  the mode of elections is FPTP (First past the post- the one who gets the most number of votes wins). The futuristic and popular mode of elections is ‘proportional representation’ which is already in use in 80 countries. The FPTP method is driving and increasing many weaknesses and irregularities in India’s governance and democracy. It is producing very dangerous situations in policymaking and change. Some facts –
1.      The Modi Government has got a majority in the parliament with the support of only 30% of the people. Around 60% population which is against it, has become powerless and with very little representation in the house. New developing  ideologies and organizations with small numbers find it impossible to reach the house and even keep their identities intact.
2.      In each state government of the country also, one small party has reached majority in this way with a small percentage of the votes. They also take many wrong and undemocratic decisions like the central government. All these minority governments make long lasting economic and administrative policies and programs with social- religious connotations. They promote extremist tendencies which often are deeply damaging to the country and society.

The party plans to organize seminars and publish literature on this issue.
The people who promote narrow and divisive views in Indian society, spread the ideas of the caste system, strengthen the religious fiefdoms, spread communalism to promote politics of vested interests; their politics is powerful today. If the politics of the weak and poor section which Samajwadi Jan Parishad represents gets powerful; these sections will lose their power and assets. We have to take this issue to the people. The interests of the oppressed and the interests of the country are connected and mutual. We will fight the politics of the rich classes with this kind of politics. We have to establish this objective firmly in our minds. Just like the Capitalist and Manuwadi powers have firmly established the aim of ‘Hindu Nation’ in their minds, which will definitely lead to the destruction of the country. This convention pledges to strengthen the politics of the oppressed sections to defeat the current anti-national politics.  
                                   Proposer  - Aflatoon , Seconded by Kamal Banerjee

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Open letter to Smriti Irani

An Open Letter to Ms. Smriti Irani

Dear Ms. Irani,

Thanks to your stunning performance, we, many faculty members from the University of Hyderabad, are compelled to do what we should have done in the last one month or so, but could not bring ourselves to – write, write about Rohith, write about our other students, write about the state of academics, write about ourselves and write about society at large. Our first acknowledgement to this therefore goes to you for revealing yourself and for bringing us back from grief, from reflection, from teaching and from various other mundane things we do as part of our job.
As we watched you in disbelief on our TV screens on 24th February 2016, you in a voice choked with emotion, again and again referred to the "child" whose death has been used as a political weapon. We were left bewildered.
At what precise point, Madam Minister, did this sinister, anti-national, casteist, Dalit student of the University of Hyderabad transform into a child for you? Definitely, not in those five rejoinders from MHRD between 03-09-2015 and 19-11- 2015 with the subject line "anti-national activities in Hyderabad Central University Campus"? Definitely, not when you chose to overlook and endorse what can only be read as extraordinarily aggressive and unfounded allegations by a minister in your own government, Mr. Bandaru Dattatreya? Ms. Irani, your constant reference to him as a child is nothing but a patronizing attempt to dehumanize his reality. It is also deeply disrespectful to Rohit's mother whose child he actually is - because she knows how ironic your appropriation of him is, considering your culpability in his death.
Only after more than a month of his death Rohith becomes a 'child' for you “whose death was used as a political weapon.” A political weapon by whom, honourable Minister? By the other four students who were expelled with him and who spent those cold nights out in the makeshift velivada, with nothing but each other for company and succour? By the other students and friends who stood by him? Because you definitely seem to imply that when you say this child could possibly have been revived and yet his body was hidden and no doctor or police was allowed near him.
By now incontrovertible facts have emerged that belie this.
However, we would like to go beyond those facts and appeal to your heart. You were not there that night Respected Minister. You did not see the grief or the shock, nor were you there to feel the despair. How could you even begin to fathom how desperate students were when they called faculty members and medical doctor of the University's Health Centre as soon as Rohith's body was found hanging by students and security officials? As Dr. Rajyasree, Medical officer has stated, she rushed to the hostel at 7.30 pm and declared Rohith dead at 7.40 pm, all recorded in his case sheet on that fateful night of 17-01-2016. The police arrived at the scene immediately after this. Iraniji, it is beyond our simple comprehension to understand how you with your meticulous preparation evident in the Loksabha speech ignored these crucial medical documents / preliminary evidences. This also includes the post mortem report that declares Rohith was dead at least 18-24 hours before the body was examined the subsequent day. From all the medical and post mortem reports, statements by friends, faculty, and university officials – it is clear that Rohith's body was found hours after he hung himself.
Not only are your claims factually incorrect but they point to an utter lack of respect and sensitivity for the grieving family, friends, and students. You are clearly disconnected from the heart breaking grief of his friends palpable to anyone present that night or the accompanying anger knowing the injustice that led to this tragedy. Does it befit our honourable minister to implicate these very grieving people in the death of their beloved friend?

Respected Minister, you have also repeatedly claimed that the committee which suspended Rohith Vemula and four other Dalit students was not constituted by your government, but by the UPA regime. You have also emphasised that there indeed was a Dalit faculty member in that committee.
We are astounded that you can so smoothly pass on the responsibility for this tragedy to someone else. Being at the helm of MHRD, we are sure you must know that the Executive Council's Sub-Committee that took the fatal decision to suspend the Dalit students from hostels and other common spaces, was expressly constituted by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Appa Rao, following five rejoinders from your ministry goading the University to take action against the Dalit students.

We may also point out that the two member committee constituted by the MHRD itself points out a curious anomaly -- the EC and its sub-committee is the very same body that recommends and ratifies – this simply cannot be.

Just in case your busy schedule has not allowed your attention to the following, permit us to point out further contradictions:

That this subcommittee was composed of all upper caste members except for one. We fail to understand how this one member is expected to overrule the will of five.

Most importantly, Prof. Prakash Babu, the sole Dalit member, was co-opted as the Dean, Students' Welfare and NOT as an SC/ST representative. Kindly refer to the constitution of the EC sub-committee in its minutes of meeting dated 24-11-2015.

That the EC sub-committee did not hear out the key stake holders or consider the counter-affidavit filed by the Commissioner of Police on 3rd October 2015 and simply concurred with the much contested Proctorial Board’s decision is matter for another enquiry.

Now let us come to the punishment itself. Let us think of the lives and struggles of the five boys who were suspended—four of them being sons of agricultural labourers and one without both parents. For them, suspension from hostel meant denial of food and shelter. Add to that, denial of right to access common spaces effectively amounted to social boycott in caste terms. Students who had surmounted unimaginable obstacles to reach the University were pushed back right into the velivada, the “untouchable” fringes of the village. Do you not believe that the administration should have reached out at least when Rohith wrote that 18th December 2015 letter asking the VC to provide Dalit students “sodium azide and a nice rope” at the time of admission itself? Ms. Irani, for all practical purposes, it was a cry for help. This was an opportunity for us to help this ‘child’ and we lost that opportunity. And, we have never heard you quote from this letter that was acknowledged as received by the VC’s office.

For a despondent, beleaguered Rohith, hounded and ignored by the powers that be, death was probably the only way to freedom and the limitless wonder and beauty of the universe that so moved him! Perhaps it was the only way out for someone as conscientious, brilliant, and reflective as Rohith was. This was Rohith’s assertion of dignity, a dignity that was not allowed to him or his friends in their lives. Their lives, in the words of Gopal Guru, mirrored social death, smeared with indignities of caste. To say that his ‘suicide note’ of 17-01-2016 does not name or implicate anyone amounts to gross opportunism and abandonment of moral responsibility.

Permit us to remind you dear minister that the VC did not think / feel it worthwhile enough to meet the grieving students on that fateful night. We are reminded ad nauseam of the threat that students posed to him and continue to pose to him. Students, who already had lost a dear friend, were accused by ABVP of violence, and this is important – students who throughout their struggle since those intense first days following Rohith’s death until now – have maintained their poise, their maturity through all their struggles and protests, have never resorted to violence. Could the Vice Chancellor of the University not meet and console them in that most vulnerable, heart breaking moment? Even when nearly 300 teachers requested the VC to come and assured him of a space to meet students along with them, the VC’s sense of authority prevailed over his sense of duty and responsibility. This was a defining moment Ms. Irani, when the VC could have regained his moral stature and humanity in the eyes of the students. He clearly let history slip through of his fingers.

Rohith is not there with us anymore. His four friends suspended along with him are, his larger group of friends in this University and growing group of friends across the country are. What we expect from you is very minimal. Do not turn this into a fight against students who have nothing to rely upon, no power – political or social, no connections, no money, not even a home. Please understand this -- the minority status you love to claim for yourself cannot in any way be equated with the state of disprivilege and dispossession that many of these students battle on a daily basis. All our students have is the hope of a future which education can possibly bring -- to quote Rohith “from shadows to the stars” Do not blight their hopes, their dreams. Help us ensure each one of us is sensitive to cater to their needs inside classrooms, in labs, in hostels, outside, everywhere. As teachers, as ministers we have much more to offer – truth, equality, justice, hope, and inspiration. Not melodrama.

The Prime Minister has extoled your speech tweeting “Satyameva Jayathe”. Whose Truth? We ask.

SC/ST Teachers’ Forum &
Concerned Faculty, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad.

"Only when the last tree has died, and the last river poisoned, will we realize that we cannot eat money."